Category Archives: Reviews by Jenny

THE VEIN CHRONICLES by ANNE MALCOM :: SERIES REVIEW

Paranormal Series with a snarky heroine and a book boyfriend who will slay you!

SYNOPSIS – FATAL HARMONY BOOK ONE

I may be the villain of the story, but at least I get a leading role.
Evil is a term thrown around history and literature as if it’s something so easily definable. A concept to fight against.
Evil doesn’t exist.
Neither does ‘good.’
Vampires do, though.
I just happen to be one.
I’ve cruised through the centuries managing to avoid all the wars, supernatural and human, but still going to all the best parties.
I would say I avoided bloodshed, but it’s kind of part of the whole ‘vampire’ thing.
I’ve lived on the fringes of a society that considered cruelty and sadism favorable character traits for almost five hundred years. Now I’m in the middle of a war that might just put my nonbeating heart in a lot of danger.
Battles, I can handle.
The impossible attraction between me and the vampire slayer, not to mention the penetrating gaze of the king of our race, on the other hand?
I might not get out undead.

✲✲✲✲

SYNOPSIS – DEATHLESS BOOK TWO

My life was never black and white.
Heck, it wasn’t even black, white and gray.
Lines were not drawn between good and evil, and if they were, I would have jumped those suckers for fun.
But now it was simpler. It wasn’t black and white. Or gray. It was only one thing.
Blood.
A crimson-tinted world. That was all I needed.
All I wanted.
Him.
Despite the war raging around us, or the secrets between us, there was nothing simpler than blood.
It didn’t matter that it would be fatal.
After all, it’s the things we’re not undead without that will kill us in the end.

Purchase The Vein Chronicles Series below

Fatal Harmony Book One

          

Deathless Book Two

          

 


Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny
(complete spoiler free series review)

 

Fatal Harmony – 4.5 Stars
Deathless – 3 Stars

“What do you know about a rebel faction of vampires, witches, demons, werewolves and a variety of the supernatural vying for world domination?”

We are avid readers of paranormal stories – we crave them much like vampires need the sustenance of blood. Well, almost. So biting into this series was like a hit of fresh blood. A new to us Author and the promise of a paranormal satisfaction to quell that incessant need. We were immediately hit with a sensation of pure bloody bliss. The story was incredibly well written, it was action packed, the humour sarcastic and dry – just how we love it – the paranormal world-building was slow but intriguing. There really was something for everyone, what with Vampires, Slayers, Demons, Witches and Wolves.

‘The grave did not cater to such pious emotions as love, nor listen to promises whispered on the eve of the battle. The grave came for everyone. Even immortals if they happened to be star-crossed lovers.’

Who doesn’t love a kick-arse heroine who oozes self-confidence and rocks a wickedly sarcastic sense of humour? Well, we were immediately loving on Isla, the sassiest Vampire we’d met in a long while. Isla is a feisty, sexy, and scandalous Vampire of stately descent and fights to rival and outdo any other breed but has a penchant for humans no, matter her denial.

‘A Slayer. First used as villains in our bedtimes stories, slayers were what went bump in the night for us. The only thing that could kill us. Designed to kill us.’

Isla becomes entangled in a coup to end the supernatural world as she knows it, being the target of not only a nameless and faceless enemy but also her own family whom she’s been trying to survive for centuries. Added to the mystery, the violence, the double crossings and the drama is one enigmatic King of Vampires and a dark and broody Slayer who’s an enemy to all vampires.

‘He was hot when he got all murder. Granted, I’d only seen him murder, but that’s how I liked my men: broody with a side of homicidal.’

We have to say we were rather partial to the enigmatic Slayer….and Isla was….well you’ll have to read it yourselves to see who is the smooth-talking love of Isla’s bloodthirsty existence. A funny sidekick, a Scottish rogue and a sexy and savvy witch. We were in paranormal heaven.

“You want to tell me why it felt like you fuckin’ died in my arms the second after you made me feel more alive than a thousand battles could have?”

“That’s what you are, Isla – the ultimate battle. My ultimate battle.”

So many battles, so many twists. We were enthralled and bloody loved Fatal Harmony so we very quickly moved onto Deathless to continue our journey, excitedly. Where the first book excelled and built the story up with great injections of humour and romantic tension, the second one sadly went in the opposite direction for us. Yes, we were still invested and the writing was first class and flawless. However, the humour and jokey aspect overtook the story  and not necessarily in a good way, we began to feel uncomfortable at the insensitive jabs Isla took at various people in society. We started to lose our connection with her as she became a mean girl and not in a good entertaining nor attractive way. No one was safe; from ageism and body shaming to sexuality jokes and vanity. It made us cringe quite a few times. Where book one was slow, understandably so, book two had an even slower pace and became quite repetitive. This left us gutted as we were enjoying everything about this series and were loving the writing. Overall, we enjoyed many aspects of this series but book two just fell short for us, sadly. Saying that though, this series felt different and fresh from a paranormal aspect.

“As it was and always has been.
In Blood.
The blood will run The Deathless night. |
The curse.
The blood will run.”

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Filed under 4 Stars, Anne Malcom, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

ROAD TO NOWHERE DUET by M ROBINSON :: DUET REVIEW

Gritty, angsty MC biker romance duet

SYNOPSIS
I once read that every warrior hoped an honorable death would find him. I always went looking for mine, but not even the Reaper wanted me.
I was trained to kill. I was trained to not ask why. To take orders and just march in line. Hooah motherfucker.
Life or death.
Ride or die.
And I’m not only talking about the military. I’m talking about the life that led me on the road to nowhere.
My life.
I fought for my brothers.
I fought for my family.
I fought for my country.
And I fought for her…

Never realizing I might die for them too.

Purchase The ROAD TO NOWHERE DUET below

Road To Nowhere Book One : amazon us | amazon uk
Ends Here Book Two : amazon us | amazon uk


Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte 

5 Stars Book One /4 Stars Book Two

‘If there was anyone I would go to hell and back for it was Mia Ryder. Even if it meant going to war.’

This duet provided one crazy angst ridden, chaotic and heart stopping ride. M Robinson, you are one cruel, cruel woman to mess with our emotions the way you did, and we’re so relieved we had the next book to dive into because that cliffy at the end of book one would have tipped us over the edge!

The Road to Nowhere Duet provided a story packed with havoc and emotional mayhem. That’s the best way we can describe it. There was much going on in this story – there was love, deep intense crazy love, suspense, brotherhood bond, family dynamics, violence, and some mystery. We likened it to watching SOA …..never knowing where the craziness would lead us!

‘I would learn through the years that Mia Ryder…Mia. Fuckin’. Ryder. I would live and die…For her.’

Creed Jameson is the VP of the Southport North Carolina Chapter of the Devil’s Rejects MC Club and initially it’s a patch he wears with pride, teetering on the wrong side of the law, living for the brotherhood of the club.  Creed is brash, brutal, and totally unapologetic about who he is but beneath that ruthless exterior is a man who lives and breathes love for his blood brothers Luke 14 and Noah 11.

Mia Ryder is just 9 years old as sassy and feisty as they come when Creed Jameson first meets her and this little miss amuses the 18 year old Creed with her smart attitude. She’s the sister he never had.

Over the years their paths would cross once or twice until the time Mia is nearly 16 and Creed has noticed how Mia is now a beautiful young woman, though still full of sass! For Creed she is the unattainable, the innocence and sweet to his impure soul. She’s out of bounds.

‘She was a breath of fresh air in this death-infested land.’

Mia doesn’t get to experience many teenage antics thanks to her over protective Dad and Uncles. She’s not allowed to get away with much, taking matters into her own hands to attend a party that would set off a chain events that would have far reaching consequences for years to come.

“Jesus Christ, you’re my everything’. You’ll always be my everythin’.”

That’s simplifying the storyline as there was so much going on in front of and behind the scenes, however we don’t want to divulge much as it would contain spoilers for the second book.

M Robinson is a such  fabulous writer, delivering those bad boys we love so much and we did love Creed though he honestly tested our limits at times. This lady sure can tell a heart pounding, angsty story!

We both loved the pace and the development of the first book, it was outstanding. This duet had the grit with the emotion, with the simmering love story through the years. The soul mate connection between Creed and Mia was believable and heartfelt and we couldn’t wait to devour the second book.

Ends Here picks up straight after the heart stopping events of the first book. Pandemonium continues as did the love story between Creed and Mia, albeit it with some dramatic angst thrown in that had us wanting to hurl our Kindles.

We were enjoying and loving Ends Here immensely until around 2/3 of the way in when the story took a sudden direction that lost us a little bit out of frustration. The most saddening being that we lost some of our connection to Creed and Mia, in particular the believability in them as soulmates which suffered somewhat as a consequence of this dramatic story-line change and whilst we really enjoyed it, we didn’t feel quite the same impact as we did from the first book, sadly.

‘We weren’t the same people we had been before, and I think that was what scared him more than anything.’

The epilogue was absolutely beautiful. A tremendously heartfelt way to end the story. M Robinson drove a story that took us on a crazy endless spiral that put our hearts through the wringer, moving at breakneck speed and toying with our emotions constantly. Oh yes, and she brought us to tears over a character we love so much…oh you are evil M Robinson!!! The next book for a character featured in this duet has been set up perfectly and bloody hell, we can’t wait for that one! We know it’s going to be fabulous!


TBB Recommends this
5 STAR READ :: EL DIABLO by M. ROBINSON

Gritty, raw, suspenseful and powerful standalone novel.

el diablo 1

“I can’t go back. I can’t change the things I’ve done. I am who I am. It’s too late, the darkness settled in. I own it now. It owns me. Please forgive me.”

SYNOPSIS

I was ruthless.
I was feared.
I had sacrificed. Myself. Her. Everything…

Living in a world where I was worth more dead than alive was a choice. I was a bad man, never claimed to be anything else. I’ve done things I’m not proud of. Seen things that can’t be unseen. I’ve caused pain that I can’t undo.
It was all my choice.
Every decision.
Every order.
Right and wrong never mattered.
Until her.
She was under my protection, until she became my obsession.
But who was going to save her…

From. Me. The devil himself.

Fate brought us together. Destiny destroyed us.

Available to purchase below:

purchase link small          purchase link small          

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Filed under 4 Stars, M Robinson, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

THE BRIDE TRILOGY by S DOYLE :: TRILOGY REVIEW

Trilogy – friends to lovers/older man, younger woman

SYNOPSIS

Ellie

So here’s the deal. I’m sixteen and I’m getting married. Super weird, I know.

My dad is a cattle rancher in Montana. Or he was, until he died suddenly, leaving me an orphan (which is still a thing). I’m sixteen months away from being a legal adult, so I have two choices.

Foster home, or married. To Jake Talley. The foreman of the ranch and my best friend.

It’s legal. It solves all my problems. Except now I’m living with Riverbend’s hottest cowboy – my husband (in name only of course) – and I’m still in high school. Trust me, no one wants to date Weird Married Ellie.

But it’s cool. All we have to do is wait it out until I’m eighteen and we’ll get a divorce. Then Jake and I will go back to being normal. We’ve got this.

Right?

Jake

I’m twenty-six, and I never saw this coming. Married. To a kid I’ve known her whole life. But there was no way in hell I was going to let her live at a foster home, instead of at the ranch where she belongs.

Sure we’re married but it’s not real. Just a piece of paper. My girlfriend is furious but I know I’m doing the right thing – for Ellie. For sixteen months, it’s me and her against the world – until the divorce.

No big deal.

Or is it?

THE BRIDE TRILOGY can be purchased below 

The Bride Book One – amazon us | amazon uk
The Wife Book Two – amazon us | amazon uk
The Lover Book Three – amazon us | amazon uk


Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

4 Stars

‘We were Ellie and Jake, Jake and Ellie.’

S Doyle is a new to us author, and the synopsis for this trilogy immediately sucked us in! It sounded angsty, gripping and we were told from readers who had read the first book it had a Kristen Ashley ‘feel’ about it, so we couldn’t wait to dive in! We’ll be honest and say we didn’t get the KA vibe at all, with neither the story nor the writing bearing any resemblance to the KA books we’ve read, however each reader feels a story differently.

This coming of age drama was laden with drama and angst. Boy did these two make life difficult for themselves as they adapted to living together. At first, we struggled to get into the story, however we soon found our groove and needed to know how this was all going to play out.

Because of Ellie’s age, we will disclose that there is no underage sex in this story, in fact, Jake shows a tremendous amount of restraint with the hormonally awakening Ellie, respecting her age and their platonic predicament implicitly and Ellie wanting to give herself over to love, settling for nothing less.

The trilogy is told in dual POV’s with Ellie’s side of the story was told more in the way of a memoir and so it read as a naïve, hormonal, confused 16 year old, so the immaturity of her voice was to be expected. We loved that Ellie remained strong, sticking to her guns about her worth, with Jake’s pov bringing a balance to the story.

“Jake. I deserve to be loved as much as I love you.”

At nearly 17, Ellie Mason, is left an orphan and a multimillion dollar cattle ranch in Montana, after her father’s death. With no legal guardian, the only option available for Ellie is to go into Foster care. However, this option doesn’t suit Jake Talley, the family cattle hand who lives in the bunkhouse on their ranch, was right hand man to Ellie’s dad and really, the only ‘family’ Ellie now has. Jake decides the best solution and to avoid the foster system, even if it is for sixteen months, is to marry Ellie, divorcing when she turns 18. There’s a 10 year gap between the pair and Jake looks upon Ellie as a little girl, he hasn’t yet noticed to maturing woman before him. So, he can do this for sixteen months can’t he? Stay in a platonic marriage to keep the ranch and Ellie’s dad’s legacy. Except, Ellie is blossoming before his eyes and Jake wants to make sure Elllie’s virtue remains intact so as not to draw town gossip to their relationship.

‘What if I married Ellie thinking I could save her, but instead ruined her life because people though she was the type of girl who could be seduced?’

The story takes us from Ellie being the bride, the wife, the lover as is evident from the titles and in that process we see the growth of Ellie’s character as she comes into her own from young innocence to womanhood.

“You are the most important person in my life. I’m the most important person in yours. I don’t want you to end up hating me.’

This is one angst ridden ride. The kind that makes you want to throw your hands up in frustration whilst at the same time flipping to the next page to see what happens. Jake and Ellie’s relationship is a whirlwind of emotions that’s for sure. An entertaining read tracing the trials and tribulations of a friends to lover’s romance.

 

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Filed under 4 Stars, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny, S Doyle

DAMNABLE GRACE (Hades Hangmen #5) by TILLIE COLE : REVIEW

Gritty, dark romance. The storyline continues through each book.
To be read in order. 

SYNOPSIS

EVEN THE BROKEN, THROUGH LOVE, CAN FIND GRACE…

Secrets never stay hidden.

The burden of guilt never lifts from the heart.

Born and raised in The Order of David, Sister Phebe knows nothing but cult life. Head of the Sacred Sisters of New Zion, Phebe was groomed from childhood for one purpose: to seduce. Prized as a harlot, as a New Zion whore, Phebe is taken from the doomed cult by Meister, the notorious leader of the Aryan Brotherhood. Taken as his possession. Taken to be the woman who will obey his every sexual demand. Under his heavy hand, Phebe finds herself in a place much worse than she could ever have imagined… with absolutely no one to help. And no glimpse of hope.

Xavier ‘AK’ Deyes is content with his life as Sergeant-At-Arms of the Hades Hangmen. Leader of the infamous ‘Psycho Trio’ and ex-special ops sniper, AK knows how to fight. Experienced in warfare and schooled in military operations, AK is vital to the Hangmen. When his Vice President needs help retrieving his missing sister-in-law, Phebe, from a Klan-funded trafficking ring, AK volunteers to go in. AK remembers the redhead from New Zion. Remembers everything about her from the single time they met—her red hair, blue eyes and freckled face. But when he finds her, heavily drugged and under Meister’s control, her sorry condition causes him to remember more than the beautiful woman he once tied to a tree. Saving Phebe forces hidden demons from his past to return. A past he can never move on from, no matter how hard he tries.

As AK fights to help Phebe, and in turn she strives to help him, they realize their secret sins will never leave them alone. Kindred broken souls, they realize the only way they can be rid of their ghosts is to face them together and try to find peace.

Despair soon turns to hope, and damaged hearts soon start to heal. But when their deep, painful scars resurface, becoming too much to bear, the time comes when they must make a heavy choice: stay forever damned; or together, find grace.

Dark Contemporary Romance. Contains explicit sexual situations, violence, disturbingly sensitive and taboo subjects, offensive language and very mature topics. Recommended for age 18 and over.


DAMNABLE GRACE is now available to purchase below

          


ALSO! Be sure to Pre Order I DO, BABE, the Hades Hangmen Novella
Releasing 23rd April – Pre Order links below

          


**Spoiler Free Review**  by Gitte & Jenny

4.5 compelling Stars

‘I tipped my head back and looked at the stars. I knew I’d never see them the same again either.’

The Hangmen are BACK and we know we say this often, but it really feels like we’re back with ‘old crazy arsed friends’ every time we get to hang out with them. This time it was AK’s story and we were so excited as we’ve loved the Psycho Trio since day one. Saying that; we love them all, but he’s always intrigued us. We knew there was a deep sorrow in his heart and we finally got to hear him voice it.

“Strangers to our kind of pain, people who have yet to be thrown onto the same rocky road, will not recognize you as a fellow traveller, desperately seeking what lies at the end of the path. Forgiveness. But those of us who have already been walking the road for miles will see you. We will see within you a kindred spirit.”

Once again we have to mention what a talented Author, Tillie Cole is. She can write about such harrowing themes yet there are always moments of pure beauty amidst the horrific. We become completely swept up in her stories; her words carrying us away on a journey that grips our hearts and our very being. It’s the sign of a magnificent Author when you can honestly say that after five books you’ve loved every single one and immediately start counting the days for the next one to drop on your kindle. Redemption, guilt, self-realisation, forgiveness, second chances, hope and persevering and overcoming personal brutality head on – it’s incredible the experiences and life recoveries we live through alongside the characters in this series.

“I’m tired. I’m just so tired of never sleeping. Never closing my eyes because of the shit I see when I do. Of being unable to think of anything in my past because I can’t fucking deal…”

We were gripped from the very first page and were shocked that despite being seasoned dark romance readers we actually found that certain scenes turned our stomachs. There’s fiction and then there’s the so disturbing it’s incomprehensible how someone could ever be okay physically afterwards. We knew Phebe’s story was going to break us, but we were not prepared for the ferocity of torture this poor soul had to live through. Her connection with AK was unquestionable; two souls damaged in life each repressing their true feelings as well as memories putting on a façade to survive. Quiet strength and compassion ran through them both.

‘She didn’t push me. She didn’t ask what I might be hiding. No, she just ripped open my fucking chest, bared my soul, then left it out on display for her ocean-blue eyes to see.’

For us this was a book of two halves. The second being what had us absolutely engrossed as the intensity of the emotion, family and friendships had our hearts overflowing with both sadness and happiness. By the time we turned the last page we had tears running down our cheeks. Oh how we love this group of bikers with all our hearts.

“I watched you, wondering why you portray yourself as two people. Then I believe I found the answer – because you wish to find happiness in the shoes you fill now…Not the shoes you once wore. The ones that caused you pain, blistering both your feet and heart…for good.”

Despite how traumatic this series is from one book to the next, the thread of hope flows from the start with added humour dispersed throughout. Tillie Cole highlights the essence of human traits and strengths though they be extremely magnified and amplified by her words. This is one series where we’ll never fail to anticipate the next book as we care so deeply. We highly recommend this MC series and recommend reading it in order as it’s got a continuous storyline.


THE HADES HANGMEN SERIES
Contemporary Dark romance – Must be read in order

It Ain’t Me Babe Book One
                    

Heart Recaptured Book Two
                    

Souls Unfractured Book Three
                    

Deep Redemption Book Four
                    

Damnable Grace Book Five
                    

I Do, Babe Book #5.5 Novella
          


FOR MORE FABULOUS TBB TILLIE COLE RECOMMENDATIONS, CLICK BELOW

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny, Tillie Cole

A HANDFUL OF FIRE by ALEXIS ALVAREZ :: REVIEW

Standalone – taboo romance, emotional second chance at love

SYNOPSIS

Single father Gabriel Baystock is rich and powerful, educated and handsome – and helpless when it comes to ensuring his son Michael recovers fully from a childhood cancer. He’ll do anything, even hire award-winning child therapist Shai Bonaventura.

Shai is drawn to brooding, sexy Gabriel, and while she falls in love with the little boy she’s hired to help, she loses her heart to his father. Their powerful chemistry is off the charts hot, and Shai thinks he might be the one to help heal her own demons, even if it means crossing professional boundaries.

But when old secrets from Shai’s past are revealed, it’s not clear if their fragile relationship can survive the harsh reality of the real world…or whether they have the courage to fight for what they really need.

This is an 80K word, stand-alone romance with no cliffhangers and a beautiful HEA.

Warning: This book contains graphic language and sex scenes hot enough to melt your Kindle.

A HANDFUL of FIRE is available to purchase below 

          


Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

4.5 stars

“Life goes on, and if you let it, beauty comes back, all by itself.”

Alexa Alvarez is a new to us author with A Handful of Fire being our first taste of this very talented lady’s work. The synopsis for this story grabbed us immediately and the story soon pulled us in. There is an intelligence and flair to this authors writing we really admired.

For a man in his early 30’s, Gabriel Baystock has had his fair share of heartache and challenges. Losing his wife, nursing his 10 year old son through cancer, and trying to reconnect with him in remission has broken this man. Career and monetary wise, Gabriel is comfortable. He’s successful and wealthy, yet emotionally, he’s stilted finding it difficult to open his heart,

Ten year old Michael, Gabriel’s son is a gifted genius. Michael is very aware of his illness, the possibility of the future and is quite wise beyond his years. No little boy should have gone through what he has at such a young age and Michael bears the emotional scars that come with that. Michael and Gabriel have drifted apart, unable to communicate, both carrying the pain of loss and uncertainty. Gabriel consumes himself in his work, shutting off emotionally to those around him. Michael’s coping mechanism is to act out, become sullen, rude and basically doing anything for attention. Both Gabriel and Michael harbour their own fears, with the thought that he could possibly lose Michael terrifying him.

“Every single fucking time I look at him, I feel this incredible rush of love that’s so powerful, it terrifies me. Because I can’t lose him. If I lose him, I’m going to fucking fall apart, and I’ll never come back together, and I can’t let him see that.”

Michael and Gabriel both need help, and it is here they meet Shai Bonaventura, the manager of Therapy Outreach. Shai is a caring and well-respected Therapist and the perfect person to connect with and help Michael and Gabriel find their way back to one another to reignite the father/son bond. However, an attraction develops between Gabriel and Shai which is off limits and forbidden, though neither can stave off the temptation for long.

“We’re both scarred. We can heal each other.”

For Shai this is an emotional and physical coupling, for Gabriel it is a physical release. Whilst he has feelings, he can’t allow himself to bend to them, preferring to keep his heart caged tightly.  Physically, these two are in sync. The sex between them was off the charts erotically charged, but trusting and submitting to his spiritual and emotional side is a turbulent journey neither is prepared for.

‘I’m afraid that with Shai, I’ll need to open up my heart in ways I’m not willing to do. Shai’s not a surface kind of girl. I just don’t know if I’m ready to have someone plumb the depths.’

Whilst Gabriel and Shai’s relationship issues are an intense part of the story, we found the emotional pull as readers came from young Michael. It was this little boy who drove the story. It is through his pain, his little heart, his hopes and fears, his need for attention and love that we found the emotional crux of the story really hit us. Alexis Alvarez perfectly delved into the psychological part of Michael and Gabriel’s emotional healing and the developing relationship between Shai and Gabriel, so we came to experience more depth of character. Her sensitive, pragmatic approach did sometimes feel a little text book but in no way did this impact the story which was beautifully, thoughtfully and intelligently conveyed.

“Love doesn’t wait, Gabriel, for the right time. It just….comes.”

We’ll certainly be putting this author on our radar for future reading. Alexis Alvarez’s, A Handful of Fire was a poignant and powerful piece of storytelling. Her words felt refreshing, passionate, tender, tempestuous and gripping.

 

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, Alexis Alvarez, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny